The Cleveland Cavaliers (10-14) lost in overtime to the Milwaukee Bucks (12-14) 113-112 at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday night.
The Cavaliers, who looked like they were going to run away with the game, saw a 17-2 first-quarter lead quickly disappear as they trailed 28-25 going into the second. Outscoring the Bucks by 11 points in the following two quarters, the Cavaliers were in position to win a game that seemed totally lost after a first quarter collapse.
Still, the Cavs fought through adversity. Anthony Parker (back) and Kyrie Irving (concussion) didn’t start the game due to injuries and Anderson Varejao went down early in the third quarter with a right wrist injury. He will be a game-time decision Saturday.
The Cavaliers overcame everything possible in a game that featured many ups-and-downs. With a perfect 9-0 mark after having the lead going the fourth quarter, it seemed as if the Cavs were going to survive a total collapse after all. Obviously that wasn’t the case.
How could it not be? Antawn Jamison got white hot in the third quarter, scoring 18 of his season-high 34 points on a shooting spree. Jamison was 14-21 from the field and collected 11 rebounds. The 35-year-old veteran has showed over the past week that he can still compete with the best in the NBA.
But if you watched Cleveland’s execution at the end of the first half, you could see why they couldn’t pull out the win. After Bucks coach Scott Skiles got booted from the game, the Cavs just gave up defensively. Bucks forward Carlos Delfino exposed our defense to end the half.
The Bucks were just the more physical team. We let the energy got right out the building went Varejao went to the locker room, and the Bucks capitalized off that. Even though Jamison was in another world at that point, the Bucks still hung around enough to extend the game five more minutes. The Cavs were just missing that extra energy to put them over the top in extra time.
There was also no Irving to provide late-game heroics for the Wine and Gold. And it didn’t help that the Cavs bench was outscored 45-29. Six out of the seven available players came off the bench for the Bucks while only four of the available eight Cavs bench players logged minutes.
The Cavs did put up some positive numbers though. Bench guards who were upgraded to starters due to injuries at the position include Ramon Sessions and Daniel Gibson. Sessions recorded a double-double with 12 points and 16 assists and Gibson had 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Not trying to say anything, but Derek Fisher had six points and two assists at Madison Square Garden Friday night, meaning we could see Sessions leaving for Los Angeles in the near future.
The Philadelphia 76ers (18-9) will visit the Q on Saturday night to do battle with the Wine and Gold.